INTERNATIONAL

Aaron Smith set for 100th test as All Blacks face Wallabies

All Blacks have announced their squad that will face Australia in the opening Bledisloe clash set for Saturday at 10:05 EAT.

It will be a special night for halfback Aaron Smith, who will play his 100th Test, after making his Test debut against Ireland back in 2012.

The starting front row is unchanged from the last Test outing against Fiji, with loosehead prop George Bower, hooker Codie Taylor and tighthead Nepo Laulala supported by props Karl Tu’inukuafe and Angus Ta’avao, together with hooker Dane Coles.

Brodie Retallick is back at starting lock alongside captain Samuel Whitelock with Scott Barrett on the bench.

In the loose forwards, Ardie Savea is at eight, with Dalton Papalii at seven and Akira Ioane in the six jersey. Luke Jacobson is loose forward cover.


In the backs, Richie Mo’unga is again at ten, outside Smith. Second five eighth David Havili and centre Anton Lienert-Brown are the midfield combination.  Rieko Ioane moves to the left wing, Sevu Reece is on the right and Damian McKenzie is at fullback. Halfback Brad Weber, Beauden Barrett and Jordie Barrett are the back reserves.

Props Joe Moody and Ofa Tuungafasi weren’t considered for selection as they return from injuries, while the selectors have also taken a considered approach with outside back Will Jordan’s return from a slight hamstring strain.

All Blacks squad

  1. George Bower (3)
  2. Codie Taylor (58)
  3. Nepo Laulala (31)
  4. Brodie Retallick (83)
  5. Samuel Whitelock (125) – captain
  6. Akira Ioane (4)
  7. Dalton Papalii (5)
  8. Ardie Savea (50)
  9. Aaron Smith (99)
  10. Richie Mo’unga (24)
  11. Rieko Ioane (37)
  12. David Havili (5)
  13. Anton Lienert-Brown (50)
  14. Sevu Reece (10)
  15. Damian McKenzie (30)

Reserves:

  1. Dane Coles (76)
  2. Karl Tu’inukuafe (18)
  3. Angus Ta’avao (16)
  4. Scott Barrett (42)
  5. Luke Jacobson (5)
  6. Brad Weber (9)
  7. Beauden Barrett (91)
  8. Jordie Barrett (25)

Story courtesy All Blacks

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